American Colin Edwards will start his second and final home race of the 2009 MotoGP season from fifth on the grid, despite missing most of the last ten minutes of Indianapolis qualifying due to a fall.
Edwards lowsided from his Tech 3 Yamaha after hitting an awkward mid-corner bump, leaving the Texan waving his arms in exasperation.
“I would like to say that I didn't do anything wrong when I crashed but I guess I did, I hit the one bump that is in turn six,” he said. “With the suspension compressed, the bike leaned over and big bump the two didn't mix.
“It's kind of deceiving, you don't know where you are, the corner has a decreasing radius. I can't decide whether to go around the bump or inside it. I had just done my fastest lap and I felt I had more in it and I was already 0.2s faster on the first split.”
Despite his absence, Edwards kept his second row start and now hopes he will have a shot at his second podium of the season on race day.
"I'm excited, I'm starting on the second row and I 'I've got a good race pace and if I keep today's pace it should be an easy top five, maybe even a fight for the podium,” said the top satellite rider in the world championship standings. “We've got a good direction with Bridgestone on tyres and have a choice of either the hard or soft option, depending on the weather. I felt really comfortable and confident the whole session.”
Team-mate James Toseland, a strong sixth in the wet on Friday, was left a frustrated tenth in the dry Saturday afternoon session.
"I'm just really, really frustrated,” he said. “We made a change at the end, and the bike improved quite a bit. I was just catching Marco Melandri on my last qualifying lap and on the last two corners he made a slight mistake. I had to roll the throttle, and that cost me the third row.
“I'm frustrated, but I'm really confident with the changes we've made. If we get a good start, we can get a decent result. All is not lost. With the work the guys have done today, I'm quite pleased about tomorrow.
"We've made a really positive change to the front-end geometry, just raked it out a bit .I've sacrificed some weight on the front to get more rear traction and that's where time is coming from."